Skip to main content

Full text of "Navy and Marine Corps Medical News 1, January 4, 2008"

See other formats


World Class Care. ., Anytime, Ajiywhere 

Issue 1 
January 4, 2008 

Inside this Issue: 

Yokosuka Labor, Delivery Staff 
Trains on New Birth System 

Fighting to Save Lives 

'Damage Control' Surgeries and 

Items of Interest: 

You Can Quit Smoking! Make 2008 
the year you or someone close to you 
quits smoking. Smoking harms nearly 
every organ of the body, causing many 
diseases and reducing the health of 
smokers in general. Quitting smoking 
has immediate as well as long-term h 
benefits for you and your loved ones. H 
You CAN quit smoking. The following 
information may be helpful to your ef- 
forts. If you're looking to quit, we en- 
courage you to contact 1-800-QUIT- 
NOW or for addi- 
tional support. You are NOT alone: 

• In 2005, 45. 1 million adults (20.9 
percent) in the U.S. were current 
smokers — 23.9 percent of men and 
18.1 percent of women. An esti- 
mated 70 percent of these smokers 
said they wanted to quit. 

• An estimated 19.2 million (42.5 
percent) adult everyday smokers in 
2005 had stopped smoking for at 
least 1 day during the preceding 12 
months because they were trying to 

Navy and Marine 
Corps Medical News 

A Public Affairs Publication of the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery 

Bush Vows Support for Wounded 
Troops, Addresses Iran Threat 

By Donna Miles, American Forces 
Press Service 

WASHINGTON - America's 
wounded troops are getting the 
best medical care possible, and the 
country is committed to ensuring 
the bureaucratic system serves 
them equally well, President Bush 
said today in Fredericksburg, Va. 

Speaking to the Rotary Club of 
Stafford, Va., the president also 
told a questioner that Iran remains 
a threat to peace and needs to sus- 
pend its uranium-enrichment activi- 

Bush told the Rotarians he feels 
"a particular sense of obligation to 
make sure that the man or woman 
I've sent into combat gets the very 
best care possible." 

He called the doctors and nurses 
providing military health care 
"fabulous," noting that "the health 
care these troops are getting is ex- 
cellent, no ands, ifs or buts about 

"I can look the parents ...and 
loved ones of the troops in their 
eyes and say, 'Your kid's going to 
get fabulous health care, and they 
deserve it,'" he said. 

The president conceded that 
problems like those that surfaced in 
February at Walter Reed Army 
Medical Center here detract from 
this care and said they won't be 
tolerated. Bush called the Walter 
Reed situation "a bureaucratic foul- 

( Continued on page 3) 

PACIFIC - Laura Montero 14, from Albion, III., center, rests comfortably in the medical ward 
aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) following an emergency appendectomy 
performed by the ship's surgeon. Laura was medically evacuated (MEDEVAC) by an HH-60H Sea- 
hawk from Helicopter Anti-Submarine Warfare Squadron Four (HS) 4 on Dec. 15, 2007, after she 
suffered a ruptured appendix while vacationing aboard the Dawn Princess cruise ship off the 
coast of Baja, Mexico. Laura's mother Trudy Lafield, center-left, was later flown to the ship and 
reunited with her daughter. U.S. Navy photo 

Yokosuka Labor, Delivery Staff Trains on New Birth System 

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Chantel M. 
Clayton, Fleet Public Affairs Center Det. Japan 

YOKOSUKA, Japan - The labor and delivery staff 
at the U.S. Naval Hospital Yokosuka, Japan had the op- 
portunity to practice their delivery and life-saving skills 
on a new simulator Dec. 19. 

The hospital trained on "Noelle," a labor and resus- 
citation mannequin, which enables labor and delivery 
staff to practice deliveries without a live patient. 

According to Lt. Aaron C. Myers, a labor and deliv- 
ery nurse at the hospital, Noelle can simulate almost 
anything and give the staff a true- to-life training ex- 

"It's a labor simulator with a motorized mechanism 
that makes the birth actually happen," said Myers. "It 
also has two interactive monitors that I can program 
using a remote laptop for different scenarios, then 
there's another baby where we can practice resuscita- 

Myers says the scenarios during the training experi- 
ence are real, making the training more effective. 

"We can simulate vaginal deliveries and c-sections 

Fighting to Save Lives 

with this model," said Myers. "We can simulate heart-rate 
tracings, vital signs, and can also simulate cardiac arrest 
functions, to go along with CPR on the model. We can do 
the same with the baby. We can simulate giving medica- 
tions and starting IVs on the baby." 

According to Myers, the hospital purchased the system 
about a month ago for about $20,000. The labor and de- 
livery staff plans to use this training system often. 

"We plan to do the training once a month, but also 
make the training available for whenever things around 
here are slow," said Myers. "When we're not actually de- 
livering babies we can train to deliver babies." 

The labor and delivery staff benefited from the training 
and value the hands-on experience. 

"It was a really good training experience," said Amylisa 
Myers, a labor and delivery nurse at the hospital. "Usually 
when we do drills we talk through the process. With this 
we have a room where we can move around and it mimics 
the experience of a true delivery, versus talking through it. 
It makes it more real. I've never experienced training like 
this. I've been doing this for six years, and wished this 
were around during my first time in labor and delivery." 

By Marine 2nd Lt. Tyson Alexander 
and 2nd Lt. Sarah Lane of Marine 
Aviation Training Support Group 21 
and Rod Duren, Naval Hospital Pen- 
sacola Public Affairs 

PENSACOLA, Fla. - More than 
62 years ago, a Navy pharmacist 
mate -- forerunner of today's hospi- 
tal corpsman -- was the lone Sailor 
among a handful of Marines made 
famous by Associated Press photog- 
rapher Joe Rosenthal's Pulitzer 
Prize-winning "Flag Raising on 
Mount Suribachi." 

Most people are familiar with 
the famous photograph taken on 
the island of I wo J ima in February 
1945 leading up to the end of World 
War II. The photo has become 
iconic, and as such can be found in 
a variety of places including as the 
model for the U.S. Marine Corps 
War Memorial in Washington, D.C. 

But Pharmacist Mate 2nd Class 
John 'Doc' Bradley's greatest contri- 
bution to the Navy-Marine Corps 
team may have come just a few 
days before to the flag- raising 
photo when his actions in combat 
earned him the Navy Cross. 

Bradley, who was with the 5th 
Marine Division's 28th Marine Regi- 
ment, saved countless lives during 

a furious assault on a strongly de- 
fended enemy position at the base 
of Mount Suribachi. 

According to the citation, Brad- 
ley observed a wounded Marine in 
an open area under a barrage of 
mortars and machine-gun crossfire. 

"With complete disregard for his 
own safety, he ran through the in- 
tense fire to the side of the fallen 
Marine ... tied a plasma unit to a 
rifle planted upright in the sand ... 
and continued his life-saving mis- 

The Marine's wounds bandaged 
and the condition of shock relieved 
by the plasma, Bradley pulled the 
man 30 yards through intense en- 
emy fire to a position of safety. 

Today, Navy corpsmen still will- 
ingly put themselves in harm's way 
in order to save their comrades on 
the battlefield. 

A Fleet Marine Force (FMF) 
corpsman assigned to a Marine Ex- 
peditionary Unit during the Battle of 
Fallujah in the fall of 2004 embod- 
ied the same courage as Bradley. 

"As the shooting began, and 
wounded began to filter in 
just never know when (or how) 
you'll react. I was thinking, 'I'm 
(only) 19 years old (and have) 

these Marines' lives, both young 
and old, in my hands," said Hospital 
Corpsman 3rd Class Courtney 

General Surgeon Cmdr. Lach 
Noyes, while in Fallujah on a sec- 
ond Operation Iraqi Freedom tour, 
said the care being provided by 
these young "grunt corpsmen," 
some fresh out of hospital corps 
school, to Marine combat units is 
"exceptional ... [they're doing] out- 
standing jobs." 

Noyes said Marines are confi- 
dent that the Navy medical system 
will get them the best possible care. 

Specialty training is crucial for 
FMF corpsmen. It's above and be- 
yond the training given to general 
duty corpsmen. The average FMF 
corpsman or "Devil Doc," as Ma- 
rines affectionately refer to them, 
has attended Hospital Corps School 
and completed an intense 8-week 
course at the Field Medical Service 
School at Camp Lejeune, N.C. 

In addition, FMF corpsmen at- 
tend a 10-day course in operational 
emergency medicine where they 
get hands-on training and the op- 
portunity to treat different combat 

(Continued on page 4) 



'Damage Contror Surgeries and Medevacs 

By Marine 2nd Lt. Tyson Alexander 
and 2nd Lt. Sarah Lane of Marine 
Aviation Training Support Group 21, 
and Rod Duren, Naval Hospital Pen- 

PENSACOLA - Critical Care 
Nurse, Lt. Cmdr. Brent Lynn has 
been in the U.S. Navy more than 19 
years - nine as an enlisted hospital 
corpsman, but nnost of that time 
was spent with the Marine Corps on 
the ground. 

But little of it would compare to 
the 'miraculous' feats of combat 
surgical care provided in Iraq. 

Due to logistical and austere 
medical conditions that combat can 
produce, Navy nurses, surgeons 
and corpsmen, have learned les- 
sons from, and with, the Marine 
Corps when it comes to adapting 
and improvising. 

Two of those Navy Medicine per- 
sonnel. Navy Nurse Lt. Cmdr. Brent 
Lynn, and Navy Surgeon, Cmdr. 
Lach Noyes, along with another 100 
currently deployed in Iraq, Afghani- 
stan and Kuwait are among the 
staff at Naval Hospital Pensacola. 

It is all of their positive attitudes 
and tireless work-ethic that enable 
them to rise above the harshest of 
conditions, and the most severe 
injuries, to once again, bind the 
Navy-Marine Corps team in an op- 
erational setting across the globe. 

Corpsmen have one of the most 

Bush continued... 

important jobs on the battlefield. 
When Marines are engaging insur- 
gents, and being shot at, it's the 
corpsman that runs through fire to 
aid the injured Marine. With little 
regard for their own skin, corpsmen 
act as angels for mercy on the bat- 
tlefield, helping as many of "their" 
Marines as possible. 

Once a corpsman has done the 
best to stabilize the injured, the 
next phase of saving a Marine's life 
is putting him into the hands of 
Navy doctors and nurses as quickly 
as possible for more definitive care. 

These lifesavers are typically 
located a few miles behind the front 
lines. Navy doctors and nurses work 
long hours under stressful condi- 
tions and with minimal resources 
due to the combat environment. 

Lynn was the only critical care 
nurse assigned to the FRSS team, 
located about 10 miles from the 
Syrian border. There were two op- 
erating room technician corpsmen, 
two general-duty corpsmen and two 

Everyone's skills were put to the 
test in one instance, when the 
medevac helo pilot was wounded 
when a bullet ricocheted, impacting 
his nose. 

Despite the wound, the pilot 
flew the helicopter to the FRSS. 
Once on the ground everyone 
rushed to treat the wounded in the 

back of the helicopter. Yet, nobody 
had a clue to the casualty in the 

When the pilot stepped out of 
the helicopter, "Everyone stops ... 
and stares in disbelief," said Lynn. 
The pilot "didn't have a face. I don't 
know how he picked up the 
wounded; and flew into Al Qa'im. 

"The intestinal fortitude of that 
pilot to fly those wounded while he 
was (likely) dying was the most 
amazing thing I'd ever witnessed," 
said Lynn, "until we got him into 

Lynn provided fluid resuscitation 
and was "pushing lots of fluid and 
blood rapidly" to the patient while 
assisting anesthesiology with sur- 
gery preparations. 

Surgery began with putting the 
patient's face back together. 

"If it hadn't been for the sur- 
geon and anesthesiologist, he 
would have died right then and 
there," Lynn said. "It was miracu- 
lous stuff." 

A year later, Lynn says, he 
heard this same pilot was "learning 
to speak and eat again; and was 
doing well." 

In another area of Iraq, Cmdr. 
Lach Noyes, who had served at the 
outset of Operation Iraqi Freedom 

(Continued on page 5) 

(Continued from page 1) 

up" and noted that Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates 
moved to fix the situation quickly. "That should show 
you our intensity in making sure that our troops get the 
very best care," he said. 

Bush said he and first lady Laura Bush will visit both 
Walter Reed and the National Naval Medical Center, in 
Bethesda, Md., later this week. They'll visit for two rea- 
sons, he said: "One, to tell those troops we love them, 
and two, to tell those docs and nurses who are working 
overtime to give them fabulous care this country appre- 
ciates what they're doing." 

Moving to questions about Iran, Bush pointed to the 
recent national intelligence estimate as proof that "Iran 
was a threat, Iran is a threat to peace, and Iran will be a 
threat to peace if we don't stop their enrichment facili- 

If Iran were able to produce a nuclear weapon, it 

would be a highly destabilizing force in the region. Bush 
said. He noted Iran's threats to wipe out Israel as an ex- 

Iran owes the world an explanation about its sus- 
pended nuclear program. Bush said. "They need to make 
it clear to the international organization, the 
(International Atomic Energy Agency), what the program 
was all about and why they hid it from the world," he 

Meanwhile, Bush pledged that the United States will 
continue working with its friends and allies to apply diplo- 
matic pressure aimed at convincing Iran to suspend its 
enrichment programs. 

He noted that Russia is in the process of sending en- 
riched uranium to Iran for use in its civilian nuclear reac- 
tor. "If the Russians are willing to do that ... (and) the 
Iranians accept that uranium for a civilian nuclear power 
plant, then there's no need for them to learn how to en- 
rich," he said. 

Fighting continued... 

(Continued from page 2) 

wounds. Every corpsman is taught how to treat injuries 
ranging from routine to catastrophic. The priority is to 
stabilize injured Marines for medical evacuation. 

The priority is to "stop the bleeding and control intes- 
tinal spillage," said Noyes, who works at Naval Hospital 

The corpsman's first duty is to treat his Marines' com- 
bat injuries, but they can also be called upon to provide 
humanitarian assistance to the local populace. 

Marines will do anything they can to protect "their" 
corpsman. Marines think so highly of them they will form 
an inverted "V" while patrolling the streets with a "Doc" 
located in the center - the most protected part of the for- 

Additionally, the Marines teach the corpsmen to be 
active members of the infantry unit. This includes practic- 
ing patrolling and weapons-handling. 

While Marines teach their corpsmen the basic skills of 
an infantryman, the corpsman educates the Marines on 
self-aid and buddy-aid techniques. 

This is important because a corpsman cannot be eve- 
rywhere at once. If multiple casualties are taken, "Doc" 
needs the Marines to be able to react and provide medical 
attention to their own until he can get to them. 

Prior to being deployed, the Marines go through a 
course called "Combat Lifesaver." Certified corpsmen 
cover different topics which relate to the combat environ- 
ment. The five-day course gives Marines a chance to 
practice inserting IV's, applying bandages and splinting 

The medical treatment of wounded Marines is one of 
the most important areas in which the Navy supports the 
Marine Corps. 

With today's technology, if a Marine can be stabilized 
and taken to a major medical unit within the "golden 
hour," it dramatically improves the chances of their sur- 
vival. The responsibility for treating these combat 
wounded Marines falls on both the corpsman and Marines 
still in the fight. 

Pensacola is home to a number of Navy corpsmen and 
Marines that have recently returned from combat tours in 
Iraq including two FMF corpsmen. Seals and Hospital 
Corpsman 2nd Class Felix Colon, both assigned to the 
Naval Branch Health Clinic at the Center for Information 
Dominance on Corry Station. 

The Marines are represented by a decorated group of 
Leathernecks including Staff Sgt. Markeith Williams, a 
Combat Action Ribbon recipient and platoon sergeant 
with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit who is currently 
assigned to Marine Aviation Training Support Group 21 
aboard Naval Air Station, Pensacola. 

Colon, a 7-year Navy veteran and a recent selection 
as Naval Hospital Pensacola J unior Sailor of the Year, was 
assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 6th Marines in Fallujah, 
Iraq, during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2005-2006. The 
experiences he came away with range from treating the 
injured to training the Iraqi Army how to patrol, execute 

weapons searches and conduct vehicle check points. 

"We find ourselves right beside them and ensure that 
we will take care of them," said Colon. "The Navy-Marine 
Corps team manages to accomplish many things to- 
gether. They have their mission and we have our mission 
as corpsmen." 

The Navy-Marine Corps team showed their profiles in 
courage and valor in combat by routing-out inner city 
insurgents from Fallujah. 

Seals said, "All of that pre-training finally came into 
use. We reacted like it was second nature. I don't know 
how to explain it. It's like I was just watching myself 
perform and I was like '...huh, yep ..that's it nice and 
easy.' All the time I sat in corps school and Field Medical 
Service School and I never in a million years thought 
that I would have a life in my hands. All of the training 
comes together when placed in a combat situation." 

Williams was a platoon sergeant during Operation 
Phantom Fury in Fallujah, from October 2004 to February 

"The relationship between the corpsmen and the Ma- 
rines is probably the closest relationship there is in the 
military," said Williams. "Our corpsmen responded im- 
mediately to medical emergencies and their performance 
was outstanding. I remember one time specifically that 
we were receiving heavy mortar and RPG fire, when we 
were suddenly hit by an I ED. 

"Without hesitation, our corpsman triaged the injured 
Marines, he put them in our AAV's, and without missing 
a beat grabbed a bunch of ammo and began supplying it 
to the machine gun section. He reacted better than even 
some of my Marines did under fire. Our doc was always 

On another occasion, Williams witnessed a corpsman 
save a Marine from being killed by a sniper. The Marine 
was patrolling with his unit when they took heavy enemy 
fire. The unit went into an adjacent building for cover 
and continued fighting. 

One Marine was providing security at the front door 
of the building when he was hit by sniper fire, which re- 
sulted in him falling into the street. Instantly, the corps- 
man ran over and grabbed the Marine and pulled him 
back into the building. 

In doing so, the corpsman was shot and killed by the 
sniper, but not before he had pulled the injured Marine 
out of harm's way. 

This is one of countless stories of the service mem- 
bers' dedication to each other and the mission. It is a 
brotherhood and bond that lasts the rest of their lives. 

The Marine's job is to destroy the enemy and accom- 
plish the mission, and the corpsman's job is to do every- 
thing he can to help Marines accomplish that mission, 
whether it is providing medical care, assisting on a pa- 
trol, or calling for close air support. 

The corpsman is a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to 
his battlefield assignment. The symbolism of the Navy 
corpsman wearing the Marine Corps' MARPAT utility uni- 
form in combat is an outstanding example of how Ma- 
rines view corpsmen -- as one of their own. 

January 4, 200i 


YOKOSUKA, Japan - Hospitalman Nicholas Ullrich performs artificial ventilation on a 
baby mannequin during a training evolution at the U.S. Naval Hospital Yokosuka, Ja- 
pan, Dec. 19, 2007. The hospital received a $20,000 labor and delivery training sys- 
tem, complete with a mannequin capable of delivering a baby. The labor and delivery 
staff can practice their skills on mannequins and be more prepared for real childbirth. 
U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Chantel M. Clayton 

Damage Control' continued... 

(Continued from page 3) 

with Fleet Hospital 3 -- the Navy's 
first Expeditionary Medical Facility 
to set up shop in a combat zone - 
came back for a repeat perform- 
ance with the Marines for the Battle 
of Fallujah in 2005. 

"There's a military-medical ne- 
cessity that saves lives called dam- 
age-control surgery," said Noyes. 

"In a forward deployed area 
close to the combat, among a sur- 
geon's first obligations is to stop 
the bleeding and control intestinal 
spillage ...deferring definitive sur- 
gery to a higher echelon of care." 

The forward- placed surgeons 
rarely get to see the intermediate 
or end-result-care of a "damage 
control surgery" patient. 

"It's frustrating sometimes," the 
Pensacola surgeon said, "but it 
saves lives." 

"They're realists," said Noyes, of 
the Marines in Fallujah, where he 
served with the Bravo Surgical 


World Class Care. . .Anytime, Anywhere 

Bureau of Medicine and Surgery 

2300 E Street NW 
Washington, DC 20372-5300 

Public Affairs Office 

Phone: 202-762-3221 

Fax: 202-762-1705 

"They know, with confidence, 
that if they get wounded, the 
(Navy) medical system will provide 
them with the best possible care ... 
and it starts with those 'grunt 
corpsmen' at the unit-level for 
which I have an awful lot of re- 
spect," he said. 

Cpl. Joshua Wilding is one of 
many Marines who benefited from 
the lifesaving skills of these doctors 
and nurses. On Aug. 12, 2006, 
while searching and sweeping for 
I ED'S with his combat engineer 
unit. Wilding and several members 
of his squad were hit by one of the 
exploding devices. This resulted in 
several Marine and Iraqi-national 

Wilding received shrapnel to his 
face and hip from the blast and lost 
the middle finger on his left hand. 

The skill and expertise of the 
medical personnel ensured Wilding 
would be returned home safely and 
be able to live a healthy and normal 

"They were good, fast and knew 
exactly what to do," said Wilding. 
"They got me bandaged up and I 
was on my way." 

The corporal traveled from Iraq 
to Germany and finally to Bethesda, 
Md., as part of his recuperative 
journey. His family was flown to 
Maryland at the Marine Corps' ex- 
pense to see him. 

Wilding said that the doctors 
taking care of the Marines were do- 
ing everything they could to make 
them happy and their care was ex- 

"There were a number of 
wounded Marines; and everyone 
made sure they were taken care of. 
He received service immediately 
with no waiting," Wilding said, "I 
had a Senior Chief just take over 
any time I came across any prob- 

When asked how the loss of his 
finger affected his lifestyle. Wilding 
said that he could still hunt, fish, 
shoot his rifle and play golf. 

According to Lt. Col. Jeffery 
Chesney, the Commanding Officer 
of Training Wing Five at NAS Whit- 
ing Field, the Navy-Marine Corps 
team is doing a terrific job of taking 
care of injured Marines both on de- 
ployment and here at home. 

"The docs are always around us 
in the squadron, no one is better 
than the docs ... you do anything 
you can for them. 

"They become Marines," said 
Chesney. "You'll find that the guys 
(Fleet Marine Force Navy corpsmen) 
who spend time with the Marines 
stay with the Marines." 

The Navy-Marine Corps team is 
taking care of their wounded better 
than any other service, he said, on 
both the medical and administrative 

These Marines are getting state- 
of-the-art care at hospitals like 
Landstuhl (in Germany) that often 
would be difficult to acquire in the 
states. These combat hospitals use 
cutting edge technology to save 
Marines lives and improve their 
quality of life after they have been 

Got News? If you'd like to submit an article or have an idea for one,